Of the four Vice News journalists held in Turkey since Thursday, a judge ruled Monday that three must await sentencing on terror charges.
The group includes two British employees of the U.S.-based news organization, as well as their Iraqi fixer. The fourth, their driver, was allowed to go free.
Correspondent Jake Hanrahan and cameraman Philip Pendlebury were working in Diyarbakir, a city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish east. They were originally arrested “for lack of proper government identification,” although at the time they were reporting on the PKK, a leading Kurdish nationalist group which Turkey labels as terrorists.
While Turkey has been engaged in the U.S.-led air campaign against Islamic State, it has also used the war as an opportunity to strike Kurdish separatists — some of which are fighting back against the jihadis. (RELATED: Turkish Prez Thinks He Can Ride ISIS To Easy Election Win)
According to a statement by Vice, the reporters face accusations “of supporting the so-called Islamic State,” a charge that Amnesty International characterized as “bizarre.”
Shortly after Islamic State captured a large swath of Iraq last year, Vice released an unprecedented documentary video series, in which reporter Medyan Dairieh spent three weeks “embedded” with the extremist group.
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